We’ve done this four times already; here’s the fifth. For the first, second, third, and fourth, please click on the links.
The rules stay nearly the same: Leave a comment with your prediction of Little One’s birth date, time, size, weight, and gender, and whoever gets closest on average to the truth wins a sweet prize.
If you get the gender right, you receive 0 points; if you get it wrong, or don’t state it, -5 points.
For every day you are off, -0.5 points (used to be -1 point). Not stating day or time scores -5 points.
For every centimeter you are off, -1 point. Not stating anything scores -5 points.
For every 200 grams you are off, -1 point. Not stating anything scores -5 points.
The person with the highest total wins.
Entering after Little One’s arrival voids the entry.
The following might influence your picks: The due date is October 28th, 2023. I have no photographic evidence of Janet’s baby belly, but it’s big. I do have historical data: First baby 6 days early, 51cm, 3590g; second baby four days late, 53cm, 3840g; third baby eight days late, 53cm, 4300g; fourth baby six days late, 51cm, 3650g.
I’ve replaced the timekeeping battery in the trail cam and now the time stamp is accurate on these photos. The first thing I noticed: Mr. Hedgehog is a man of routine. He leaves his pad a little after 8pm and returns a little after 6am.
Also, is it mere coincidence that two mice appear at 04:20 and a cat at 04:40? (Can you find both mice?)
We don’t have a pet: the closest we get is our BeeHome for solitary bees. (If you’re looking into getting one, I’d vote for the classic version, not the Observer we got. While we’ve seen a bee or two cuddle up in the drawer for the night, none has ever laid any eggs in there.) Researching other ways to provide for wild animals that struggle in urban and suburban areas, I came across several options. Bat lodgings seemed neat, but the bats need two meters of free space beneath their dwelling to launch into flight. A sparrow hotel sounds interesting, but I’m still shying away from drilling through our insulation into concrete to hang it up, because I haven’t figured out how to get it down again easily to clean it. Hedgehog houses, on the other hand, avoid a lot of these problems, so that’s what we built.
And here’s how we did it:
Next, put the thing in the cellar as you mull over getting shingles for the roof and mull over how on earth to make the shingles work. But finally, one fine summer’s day, a day off thanks to it being our national holiday, pull it back out and work on the roof.
So with the smaller volume (just under the ideal 30x30x30 cm) and the missing newspaper floor and the slightly smaller entrance, this HedgeHotel isn’t 100% to spec, but it should still pass muster, if indeed a hedgehog comes looking.
Wish us luck—and a boarder!
Update August 18, 2019: In the meantime, the straw has been moved—twice! We know someone’s gone in there, but was it a hedgehog? Now I’m starting to consider a game camera…
Our yard isn’t ideal for growing. In the morning, the house casts a shadow. On a sunny day, the awning that keeps our sun porch from boiling casts a shadow. The tree casts a shadow in the afternoon. The grill stands in the way of conveniently working on one strip. So if I wanted the kids to enjoy gardening, I needed something accessible and sunny.
Enter the planter box. After plenty of reading and research, I found AlboPepper’s sub-irrigated planter, 30 minutes of clear instructions and a system that was self-contained. (Most others stood on soil, which I didn’t want, given that our lawn is so small the kids can barely play ball on it.)
I planned to modify his plan to include caster wheels to make the box movable on our patio, and the size of my box would be that of the standard European shipping pallet, 80 by 120 cm (32 by 48 inches). Getting the shipping pallet with frame was the easiest part: I got it used for 6 francs. And then it sat in our sun porch for a long time…
Finally, I sat down and did math, calculating the total length of my 10 cm corrugated drainage pipe and the total volume of soil I’d need, as well as the dimensions of the pond liner that would keep the wood from getting wet. I purchased those supplies along with the wheels (picked to support the weight I’d calculated), struts, and screws. It was hard to translate the soil components into German, so I’m still not sure my planter box wicks the moisture up as intended, but 2019 has been rainy, which means the jury’s still out.
And then, I got busy building.
The pallet has holes, so I repurposed cupboard backing I no longer needed (the cupboard had also seen a makeover) to spread the load and keep the pond liner from stretching.
Eleonora Margaret Stücklin is here, and decided to come a few hours past the astronomical solstice, but still on the 21st of June, the best Father’s Day present I’ve ever received. Combined with her dimensions and gender she also gave me a less relevant Father’s Day present: winning the baby pool IV. Because it feels rather goofy to award myself with sweets, I’ll be sending them to the participant who scored worst in every single category.
Here’s how to read the table: Ellie’s data is in the row labeled “actual.” The row “average” represents the average of all guesses. All other rows are actual guesses, sorted in order of ascending points. Every category shows the number of points with which the guess is penalized, and next to it the percentage of the total points contributed by this category. The coloring scale of the points is relative to the other participants (how well did I do compared to X’s guess?), but the coloring of the percentages is relative to the other categories (how much damage did I do in this category?).
For example, I guessed both the gender and length right, giving me zero points. Everything is green: I scored best relative to everyone else, and contributed the least to my point total. However, in the weight category, I was over 200 grams off, so I scored -1.05 points. Compared to everyone else, that was an ok score: yellow points. But compared to my point total, this was by far the largest chunk – 85% of my score – and therefore deep red. The color coding lets you see where you can improve your guessing, and it shows me that the formula probably gives the date too much weight. If there is ever another pool, I’ll reduce the penalty to 1 point per two days off.
As for the category winners: Sandra and I win the length category, Noah edges out Sandra and Kathy in weight, and I win the date category. Except for the date, Sandra did a terrific job of getting Ellie’s vital stats – but I checked, even with the reduced date penalty I’d still win the pool.
So here they are: more numbers than you can shake a stick at.
I’m not quite as early in setting this up as last time, or the time before that, but still well ahead of the initial pool. Little One is due June 15, but Janet’s feeling big already and despite her pick is hoping for an early arrival. Here’s how to play: leave a comment with your prediction of Little One’s birth date, time, size, weight, and gender, and whoever gets closest on average to the truth wins a sweet prize.
Rules for determining the grand winner:
1. If you get the gender right, you receive 0 points; if you get it wrong, or don’t state it, -5 points.
2. For every day you are off, -1 point. Not stating day or time scores -5 points.
3. For every centimeter you are off, -1 point. Not stating anything scores -5 points.
4. For every 200 grams you are off, -1 point. Not stating anything scores -5 points.
5. The person with the highest total wins.
6. Entering after Little One’s arrival voids the entry.
Go to digitaldutch for a useful unit conversion link, or have a look at the Google spreadsheet I made for converting weights!
I guess having three kids running around makes for fewer photographs, as I don’t have a current picture of Janet’s baby belly. She looks a lot like the photo in the third baby pool post, except perhaps a little bigger. We are, of course, two weeks later.
Historical data, for those who need it for their pick: First baby 6 days early, 51cm, 3590g; second baby four days late, 53cm, 3840g; third baby eight days late, 53cm, 4300g.